On Thursday, June 19, the House of Representatives' Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health marked up the MD-CARE Act and voted via unanimous voice vote to advance the bill!
What does this progress mean?
When a bill is first introduced, it is referred to a committee or subcommittee for further action. "Markup" refers to the process of debating, editing and amending this legislation. It is the first crucial step toward passage.
Now that the MD-CARE Act has been marked up and advanced, it will move on to the full Energy & Commerce Committee, where it will be debated and voted on by the larger body. If successful, it will then move onto the House floor for passage. The bill's sponsors, Rep. Michael Burgess [R-TX] and Rep. Eliot Engel [D-NY] are hopeful that the House of Representatives will act on the bill before Congress adjourns for the August recess. After passage by the House, the bill will only require passage by the Senate before the end of 2014 in order to become law.
For an overview of the legislative process, please click here.
What can I do to help?
Now that the bill is out of subcommittee and is moving forward, it is more important than ever that Congress hears your opinion on this life-saving legislation! Participate in our 500 Voices Campaign by writing a letter or submitting a SpeakingPhoto to your members of Congress. Over 110 voices have already reached 36 Senators and 30 Representatives across 19 states - help us reach 500 voices by the 2014 MDF Annual Conference in DC this September!
About the MD-CARE Act
The Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research & Education Amendments of 2014 (MD-CARE) is a bipartisan bill that updates the MD-CARE Act of 2001 and builds on its successes. The amendments update the language of the original bill to reflect changing research and clinical landscapes, such as focusing additional attention on cardiac and pulmonary research, issues that are very important to the DM community.
You can read more about the MD-CARE Act and the Orphan Drug Tax Credits, our other advocacy concern, on our advocacy page.